The Whaler

At first everyone was really sad that Knopwoods was closing. They then remembered that Knopwoods hadn’t been any good for years and celebrations ensued as The Whaler sailed into port.


Publican Ben Hickey, already well known in the hospitality scene as the man behind Beerfest and Mobius, has maintained the easy going and friendly vibe of the previous tenancy while introducing some much needed changes: The finest local and international craft beers on tap and food, such glorious food.

The ever changing tap list

I’m not actually that much of a beer drinker, but those that know about such things have talked with excitement about this joint. Cider is more my thing and the Willie Smith’s and Bad Man on offer are both very good choices although I’d like to see some more interesting ones. It’s all well priced and there’s a large range of wine and spirits as well.

Outdoor dining and drinking

While the inside is more the place for winter, with a prominent open fireplace featuring, the outdoor area is a comfortable and casual place to while away some time. It’s a welcoming area and somewhat of an oasis amongst the other establishments. Music is enjoyable without being intrusive.

Part of the menu

The menu has expanded in short time from an initial offering of chips and fried chicken to an exciting assortment of bar snacks and burgers. It’s a great place for either a casual meal or a long grazing session while working through the taps.

Pulled Pork and Pineapple Fries

There’s around half a dozen different variations on the humble chip on offer including the delicious 24 hour Pulled Pork and Pineapple fries and Rita’s Red Bean and Cheese Fries. The chips are good, crispy and fresh and the toppings abundant and flavourful.

Fried Chicken, Pulled Pork and Pineapple Fries, Cheeseburger, Corn

It’s all really enjoyable, unpretentious and fun. “Not your average Cheeseburger” certainly lived up to its name as one of the best I’ve ever enjoyed, packed full of flavour. The corn was fresh and juicy and the fried chicken tender making me want more. And more was had. The chicken burger. Oh that chicken burger….

Southside Chicken Burger

I’m wanting another right now. Great combination of flavours and textures from the juicy chicken to the fresh slaw to the bite and smokiness of the chipotle sauce and the crispy bacon pulling it all together. This is a great burger and reason enough to give them a visit.

The Whaler is situated at 39 Salamanca Place and open noon til late with kitchen closing at 9pm. Check out their Facebook page for updates on what’s pouring.

Facebook page




3 Comments Add yours

  1. Steph says:

    Wow – what a terrible opening paragraph, I thought this article was about the Whaler and yet you manage to bring Knopwoods into it. Perhaps if shady deals were not done the past owners may have invested a bit more into their venue – but why bother.
    You have not done the Whaler or your blog any favours by bagging out the venue they took over no matter how you feel about it.


    1. Lee says:

      Wow, Knopwoods is obviously an extremely touchy subject for you, Steph. It seems to me that this review is overall extremely positive and the brief mention was relevant. I’m keen to give this place a go based on this review.


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